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The Top College Scholarship Essay Mistakes That Winners Never Make
Write a winning college scholarship essay by learning what successful students have done to impress the judges!
Read the first two posts here:
The third segment using the S-M-A-R-T method is all about the “A”.
The college scholarship essay is the heart of the application, so students need to make sure they:
A = Answer the Essay Question
This may seem like a no-brainer, but scholarship judges swear that many students tend to ramble in their essay answers, leaving the original question partially unanswered.
Also, some essay questions contain more than one query or part, and students may think they have fully answered the question, but have not.
An excellent trick for checking essay answer completeness is for students to ask an educated and trusted adult to read their answer, not knowing the question, and see if they can guess what it is. If the reader is unsure or wrong, the student can work on rewriting or clarifying their answer.
If the reader knows exactly what the question is, the student knows they have answered it and can then ask about compelling content and move on to proofreading.
Students can and should use this list to ensure they have done their very best to write a great college scholarship essay and win more money for school:
- Have I completely answered the question(s) asked?
- Does my essay begin with content that draws in the reader, a hook?
- Do I write from the heart, sharing true, detailed, and relevant information?
- Have I identified the theme of the essay and addressed it in my answer?
- Did I research the background of the organization and become familiar with its mission?
- Have I had at least 2 pairs of trusted eyes read and critique my essay?
- Has my essay been proofread for grammar, punctuation, and typos?
- Does my essay follow word count or other format guidelines outlined in the scholarship requirements?
- When others are reading my essay, do my words evoke positive reactions such as laughter, smiling, and/or spontaneous comments? (“Wow!”)
“Monica, I want to tell you thanks for scholarship info! Read your How to Win College Scholarships ebooks, and my daughter received her first scholarship last week! $2500 in a local scholarship contest. She included her resume when it was not required, and the judges commented that it was impressive that she did that. Thank you!” – J.M., Happy Mom
Be sure to read: How to Write an Amazing College Scholarship EssayUse these tips to write a stronger college scholarship essay! Click To Tweet
Monica Matthews is the author of How to Win College Scholarships. She helped her own son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students. She truly has “been there, done that” in regard to helping parents and students navigate the scholarship process.
Her method of helping students in finding college scholarships, writing unique and compelling scholarship essays, creating amazing scholarship application packets, and more have taught desperate parents to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars. She teaches them how to apply S.M.A.R.T. with outstanding results.
Monica’s scholarship tips have been featured on many prominent websites, and she has been dubbed the “Go-To” expert on college scholarships.